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Future of water saving design on show at Aquarevo House

Melbourne has a new home for sustainability research and education, with South East Water (SEW) celebrating the opening of Aquarevo House.

Located at the innovative Aquarevo housing development, SEW’s new facility showcases the water and sustainability features that will help slash residents’ reliance on drinking water by up to 70%.

This includes plumbing all 460 homes in the development with three sources of water: drinking water, recycled water and rainwater.

The 8-star rated houses are also fitted with OneBox, which allows SEW to intelligently monitor water use and energy consumption, and Tank Talk, a rainwater tank device that uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology to decide if and when water should be released from the tank prior to a rainfall event.

South East Water's Aquarevo House. South East Water's Aquarevo House.

SEW Managing Director Terri Benson said developing Aquarevo in partnership with Villawood Properties and Arden Homes had been a great learning experience for the organisation.

The learning will continue at Aquarevo House, where the utility will develop and test new applications for some of the water saving initiatives within the estate. 

“Aquarevo brings to life a new way of providing water solutions to our customers, and by working with developers and builders we’ve been able to extend the benefits beyond water and create a great place to live,” Benson said.

“This is truly an example of integrated water planning helping create a better world for our customers.”

Water Minister Lisa Neville with Aquarevo’s first resident, Billy Rosete. Water Minister Lisa Neville with Aquarevo’s first resident, Billy Rosete.

The homes, which were built using sustainable and recycled materials, also feature a rooftop solar system, and many will receive Sonnen batteries. Together, these can provide up to 80% of a household’s annual energy usage.

Villawood Properties’ Executive Director Rory Costelloe said Aquarevo House was an important way of  highlighting the sustainability initiatives that could make Aquarevo Australia’s most water and energy efficient residential community.

“Aquarevo House demonstrates that better, smarter, more environmentally sustainable housing is both achievable and commercially feasible for developers and builders, while also offering an enticing consumer proposition, making positive change that much more accessible,” Costelloe said.

The new facility also shows that sustainable, energy efficient homes can also be affordable, with a retail price point up to $70,000 less than the average new home build.